The present study investigated the studying strategies in Differential Calculus of the students in relation to their competency. There were several assumptions in the past studies on how the studying strategies explain the competency of the students. The present research gathered the common studying strategies and formulated a checklist to be answered along with a competency test. The final grade and the test score of the students were merged to determine their rank relative to the other respondents. Using chi-squared with critical values between 5.99 and 9.21, the studying strategies of the upper and lower groups were assessed whether there is a significant difference and relationship to their competency in Differential calculus. Those studying strategies that have a significant relationship are grouped which is then concluded as the effective studying strategies in Differential Calculus. Keywords: Differential Calculus, studying strategies, competency, grades, mathematics, test scores

Introduction

Differential Calculus is a subfield of calculus which deals with the change of rates at which quantities change. It is learned in schools because of so many reasons. Firstly, the mastery of this field is needed because it plays a major role in applications to physics and engineering, thus, it is a prerequisite to higher education in mathematics. Secondly, it also provides theoretical platforms on which applied methods are built on. Another justification for learning this field is that it provides analysis which has two distinct but interactive branches according to the types of functions that are studied: namely, real analysis, which focuses on functions whose domains consist of real numbers, and complex analysis, which deals with functions of a complex variable. This seems like a small distinction, but it turns out to have enormous implications for the theory and results in two very different kinds of subjects. Both have important applications. (www.math.cornell.edu/Courses/lifeaftercalc.html#analysis) However, while it holds true that differential Calculus is important to forward higher education, it is unfortunate to observe fellow students find difficulty in learning Differential Calculus until to the point that their competency deteriorates. Students have the propensity to forget lessons in Differential Calculus after it is taught. One factor that causes this inability to remember the lesson is the utilization of ineffective study habits. It is a common notion that when students in the school setting study hard, performance in academics would improve. Even poor students who have developed good study habits can perform well in school (On & Watkins, 1994). Study habits are “those activities necessary to organize and complete schoolwork tasks and to prepare for and take tests” (Robbins et al., 2002). It is recognized in the present study that students need a standard showing specific study habits and how they affect the students’ performance in Differential Calculus. Several validity and investigations of study habits has been conducted. Bray, Maxwell, and Schmek (1980) assessed the students’ attitudes in studying and used it to predict the grades of the students’ performance. They have also found the correlation between the test scores of the students and their strategies in studying. However, there is a need to further establish the structure since there is a lack of follow-up studies on these measures. Moreover, the previous studies explained the contribution of the study habits generally to the overall field of education. The students’ performance, in their studies, do not account for specific contribution of the study habit. This present study will deal with the common study habits that are collected. Through this, the researchers will look into the relationship between each step/strategy in studying and their performance in Differential Calculus, e.g., attending to class daily, having a fixed...